Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Diary 12/31/11

Happy almost New Year's Eve!  Time to reflect if you have time.  Garden Girl is sick with a rash and a cold :(.  Then she fell off the kitchen stool. Life is cruel.  At least there is sun today instead of wind and heavy rain, so I see a nice walk in her future which will make her very happy :).  Best wishes to you and yours for the next year.  Perhaps more challenging times ahead for some folks.  Time to think of each other and help those less fortunate, not just with $, but maybe with encouragement, a meal, a kind deed. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Diary 12/28/11

It is raining and Garden Girl is here, so not much gardening going on today.  Do hope to get into clean-up someday soon, so hope she is up to a game of "put the half rotten tomato in the wheelbarrow".  For now, we will stay mostly indoors except for short walks and make garden pictures of flowers with paints, crayons, and stickers courtesy of Santa and family :).

Monday, December 26, 2011

Diary 12/26/11

Catzilla attacks snow village, but balks at attacking train...

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Diary 12/24/11

A cousinly moment between Water Boy and Garden Girl. They were very busy this morning!

Diary 12/24/11

Almost Merry Christmas to you all. This guy didn't make it past 7:00, busy day running the excavator and dump truck with Grampa.  Now he is fast asleep with visions of not sugar plums but toy dump trucks, excavators, and trains in his head.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Diary 12/21/11

This is a pretty nice egg from the shortest day of the year!  Don't know which hen is responsible so I thanked them one and all for a job well done.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Diary 12/21/11

Happy Winter Solstice! Shortest day of the year with a very cold night ahead for us.  Maybe snow/rain on Christmas and then rain after that.  Hard to believe it can warm up that much-to rain.  We'll see.  Fiber Optics? no just drops at the end of Pine needles.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Diary 12/20/11

Went down to our property along Elk Creek this afternoon.  There is a huge portion of it that the sun is not reaching this time of year.  It was brutally cold down there, but had a raw beauty in the ice and browns. When I returned home, the cows were in the yard. So I found the cowboy, and he came and collected them.  Yea!  My son is back from an adventure to Cape Cod and NYC.  He is suffering from jet lag and culture shock.  Has lots of stories, but too tired to tell them for now.  Some more cleaning and putting things away for holiday weekend ahead on tap for tomorrow.  Going to make some Ginger Snaps, more spicy than too sweet, I hope.  One more batch of jam and that will be it until later.  Decorated side deck and need to finish with any other gee-gawness of greenery and holly.  I can get carried away, I like it so much.  Martha(Stewart) would be proud.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Diary 12/19/11

Delightful get together on Sunday.  I am very lucky to have so many great girlfriends.  It makes aging so much easier to take.  We have been running off the same group of cows from the garden every evening for the last week.  Tonight I was able to get a message to the cowboy(man), Travis, in a disheartened voice about fear for my garlic and the few things I am growing in the greenhouses.  He called an hour later and is coming to move the cows in the morning.  I can only hope that is true, and there are no more out there to round-up. The idea of no cows until May sounds wonderful from here.  As soon as we get some rain and warmer soil, I will start putting up the fence for next year...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Diary 12/18/11

Our deer neighbors are eating the cover crop as the range cows would like to if they were not escorted off the property every other evening.  I kinda feel sorry for the cows as there is not much left for them to eat.  Hope the cow guy hauls them off sometime...? Notice the wet snow-damaged branches on the plum trees still needing to be pruned. Cleaned up more rotten vegetation yesterday.  Allen helped clean one whole greenhouse on Friday.  Looks good and now to turn beds and add compost.  Plenty of time for that.  I figure if I do a bit everyday, I will get 'er done.  Not today, though.  Today is one of my favorite days, a get together with my girlfriends and the day we declare our Secret Pals to each other.  Much fun, great food, a DD, and lots of good memories in the making.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Diary 12/16/11

The Paper White Narcissus I forced are starting to bloom.  I moved the planter into the bathroom where it is cooler and the flower show will last much longer. They smell sooo sweet! I am forcing a pot of tulips also, but they are just poking up.  It is always a welcome sight and a fun project.  Then when the bulbs are finished blooming, I plant them in the flower bed outside.  They are puny the first year, but then come back the following year with nice blooms.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Diary 12/15/11

No snow, and really not much moisture, so back to dry until?, so not sure when the high pressure pattern will change enough to let a storm through that has any significant moisture with it. Last fresh salsa of the year.  One more slicing tomato for a last BLT or burger and I am out of tomatoes until next July, boo hoo. Some greens to eat and a couple cabbages.  Plenty of onions around the edges of the greenhouses and many outside if they haven't frozen.  They seem firm, but fully stuck in the frozen ground.  Some broccoli and cauliflowers that will come on as the day length increases in January February. Eating canned beans and peaches for dinner tonight, frozen corn last night. 'Tis the season to pop jar lids.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Diary 12/14/11

Raining this evening.  First moisture for two weeks.  It will probably turn into snow by morning, but not much. Then the weather goes right back to dry and cold, though there will be some clouds which will make it slightly warmer than before.  White Christmas? It has been so dry, but no predictions yet. The weather here can do surprising things.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Diary 12/13/11

Made 4 batches of berry jam yesterday; strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry.  Still have boysenberries and huckleberries to jam up.  I freeze berries all summer when life is busy and then make jam this time of year for presents.  Now, to label and decorate the jars.  Fun!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Diary 12/11/11

Busy wreath makers
Wreath Party went well.  Mellow and productive.  Lots of holly this year and nice greens. Feels good to have clean and decorated house to hang out in ahead of time this year.  Now, to finish the few projects I still have to take on before Garden Girl joins us in a week.  Change in the weather sounds good except for the mud that will come with it.  Hmmm.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Diary 12/9/11

Collected greenery from along the fence line and road for annual wreath making workshop here on Sunday.  Cheryl pitched in to gather. We clipped some Douglas Fir, White Fir and Cedar.  Pat and Ada brought me lots of variegated holly, and Juliette will bring some green holly on Sunday. Others will bring this and that. We have a good bin of ribbon, so we are good to go. If any of you followers are in So. OR, you know you are welcome :).

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Diary 12/8/11

Another sunny day and just a bit warmer.  Nights are supposed to be less cold after tonight.  So far, so good on faucets and pipes freezing up.  Where the sun hits it was quite pleasant today.  Where the sun doesn't shine, the ice crystals are extruded out of the ground.  They would be bigger if we had had more rain, but as it is dry, they are building slowly on vegetative armatures.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Diary 12/7/11

More sunny days and cold nights.  Pretty cold in the mid-west, too and pretty wet in the east.  I better not snivel.
Harvested a bit of this and that to make 5 bags.  They all had potatoes, onions, lettuce and cilantro, and then it varied form there with kale, chard, cabbage and turnip greens. The chicken yard needs some attention tomorrow and there are plenty of dry leaves along their fence to throw in there.  I have been hauling greens from the greenhouses including grass clumps, other weeds, and mushy tomatoes to the chickens. Still getting 4 eggs most days.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Diary 12/5/11

Perseverance is the key.

It can wear out the young and the old.

You might need 4 wheel drive and chains.

In the end, there is always success and a story.
In our household, finding a Christmas tree might be considered an extreme sport. P.S. I think my son-in-law will buy a tree next year!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Diary 12/4/11

Lots of action here.  Water Boy stays dry driving golf cart, excavating greenhouse and attending one year old birthday party.  Good fun was had by all.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Diary 12/1/11

Cold, clear nights and sunny days are the current weather trend.  It will continue with this high pressure over us that is sending other storms to the Midwest and Santa Ana winds to L.A.   Denver was 21 and snowing, very small, dry flakes. It is a changeable time of the year.  I even saw a rainbow yesterday. So enjoying this for now as I am sure we will see plenty of wet weather soon. Meanwhile a dry winter greenhouse is happier than a wet one where fungus thrives. Still picking this and that.  Less vegetation because of frost so tomato plants may lack the necessary foliage to survive too many more cold nights.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Diary 11/28/11

Clear days are making for some pretty sunsets.  Fog in the valley will be cold and dreary for the next week or so.  Need to winterize some faucets. Will pick vegies tomorrow for a couple bags and salsa making.  Enjoying the last fruits of our 2011 labor. Shopping tomorrow and then home for awhile.  Visitors, Water Boy, a 1 year old birthday, football and such on tap for this weekend.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Diary 11/28/11

More clean up around our first home, the old cabin, which is slowly, but surely being disassembled. Two leaning oak trees are gone opening up the area and giving the orchard across the road better sun and air flow.  Cut up two shoulders, the backstrap (filet mignon) of two elk, and a ham of one elk today.  More meat cutting and wrapping tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Diary 11/27/11

We hung out some today.  Did a little clean up in one greenhouse, burned a couple brush piles, and  finished unpacking. Started cutting up and packaging our elk.  Serious effort in that direction tomorrow.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Diary 11/26

Red Rocks

Two good reasons

Goodies in the greenhouses
Sorry I have missed so many days blogging.  I am home from Denver to lots of goodies in the greenhouses, lots of loose ends to tie up before winter, a resolve to get into the Christmas spirit by getting some decorations out sooner than later.  I leave behind Red Rocks and two very important reasons to be too busy to blog.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Diary 11/18/11

I thought Denver was in the Rocky mts., but really it is in the flatlands on the other side and thus in the rain shadow. It has been sunny and dry the entire time. No baby yet,but it is inevitable as the telltale sign of a large belly would indicate. Meanwhile enjoying being Prince, painting, and telling stories to a three year old Princess.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diary 11/15/11

I am off to Denver to await the arrival of a new grand daughter. I
will be granny nanny for my three year old grand daughter there. I consider the appointment a privilege. I will blog as I can,but it may have nothing to do with gardening or the PAcific Northwest. Excuse the errors as I am finger challenged on this small phone keyboard. It is all quite amazing to me ! Now to learn how to upload a picture!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Diary 11/13/11

My husband and one other hunter harvested elk yesterday.  My husband's was way down in a steep draw, so they parted it out into 6 pieces to haul from the woods.  Luckily there was plenty of help as that is how this group works, all pitching in together. The other elk was brought out whole using a chain saw winch, slowly pulling it on the snow from the woods to the road.  Then it was taken apart here and hung in the cooler where it will hang for a week or more and then we cut and wrap it for the year's meat. No pictures, yet, though I may post one later.  Meanwhile, I am transplanting choi, lettuce, cabbage, kale, and broccoli plants for late winter greens.  The last of the tomatoes are ripening and I have a few more peppers to pick. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Diary 11/11/11

Tomorrow is opening day of the week-long black powder muzzle loader elk season.  If you are anti-hunting, you may not wish to visit my blog for a few days.  For us it is all part of the life here.  Elk are prolific and they are excellent food, low cholesterol, tastes like rich beef, and though alot of work to harvest, somewhat inexpensive to gather.  Much skill is involved in both the hunt and the shot placement, and subsequently the processing of the meat until it is in nice white paper-wrapped packages in the freezer. We are lucky to have this food source and we honor that privilege by wasting as little as possible. Even the scraps go to the dog and cat who are always appreciative. Best of luck to the hunters.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Diary 11/10/11

Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning.
Red sky at night, sailor's delight.
Red sunset last night gave way to a mild mostly sunny day today.  No color tonight and I think we are in for some rain over the weekend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Diary 11/9/11

The onions did not all finish, especially the  ones at the one end of the beds which must have received less sun than the rest of the row.  Plenty of green onions.  I can harvest them slowly through the winter though the bulbs will get slimy.  I am going to mulch a few in hopes that they will still be usable.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Diary 11/8/11

Back from Eugene to a busy household.  Had a great time hanging out with the super Tunnel Master and Thomas Train Buff while there.  Water Boy has grown up so much in a short time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Diary 11/6/11

Off to Eugene for a break to see my favorite (two year old) train conductor.  A skiff of snow on the deck and oak leaves this morning was a surprise when I first looked out. Cold the entire day, I saw 37.4 as the highest temperature. The only time I went outside was to feed the chickens and collect eggs.  Visitors and football taking up the rest of a lazy day.  Garden is fine coasting along until I get back.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Diary 11/3/11

The freeze has definitely nipped on the tomatoes in the greenhouse, but amazingly they have not gotten wet enough to get black spot or split.  Garden Girl helped pick figs and tomatoes in one greenhouse and green peppers which she ate one half of and some strawberries in another greenhouse. Just to show she was a true lover of the garden, she took a bite of a dirt clot.  I am not sure why and tried not to react in case that was what it was all about.  I have heard of those children that eat random things, but this was the first instance I have seen with this two year old.  I think she got over it when I didn't cry out in horror, but just calmly asked  if she wanted a a drink of water with her dirt.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Diary 11/2/11

Garden Girl helped with chores today such as collecting the eggs.  Not sure what the peace sign is about.  We were looking at a book and there was a picture of an owl and some cactus.  I asked her "What animal is that?" Without replying, she touched the picture of the cactus with her finger and withdrew her finger saying "Ouch!". It was obvious she knew exactly what a cactus was, perhaps from personal experience.


Garden Girl is here for a few days.  It will be interesting to see how much blogging I can do!  Hopefully she will help me pick the last of the cherry tomatoes, onions, well, maybe, and raspberries.  Nice day today and then rain, rain, and low snow levels.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Went to an annual Halloween party at a friends.  They do up their house and have games ready and we all bring great food and everyone put effort into their costumes this year.  I went as a shaman, crow woman thing, but I couldn't keep the mask on and drink wine, so guess what?